Margarita Cupcakes

in Cakes & Cupcakes, Cinco de Mayo, Mexican & TexMex

Margarita Cupcakes

It seemed only fitting to whip up a home-brew batch of margarita cupcakes to complement a bridal shower we held at one of the best Tex-Mex restaurants in Houston. El Tiempo on Washington Ave, in my opinion, serves the very best margaritas and chicken fajitas in the city – and y’all, this is a big city!

A search on Google yielded very few recipes and none that completely peaked my interest (ie, included booze) or taste buds – you know what that means: Let the experiments begin!

My husband makes a fabulous margarita (aka “The Unofficial State Drink of Texas”). You know the ol’ Lush-In-Training motto: You can’t drink just one πŸ™‚ That inspiration, along with a shell of a recipe from Wilton proved to be the winning combination as the cupcakes turned out far better than I could have hoped for – a fabulous cupcake to honor a fabulous friend!

I decorated boxes from a local craft store in lime green and fuschia and used those to transport the individual cupcakes from the Tapas party at my house to the restaurant. I think I temporarily gave myself arthritis from using that flower-shaped scrapbooking punchy thingy. No matter – the boxes looked great! And apparently, tequila cures arthritis.

*Update* Click here for the from-scratch version that does not use a box mix. It’s much better. The frosting is to-die for. And only takes a few extra minutes!

Margarita Cupcakes

A fun cocktail-turned-dessert for a Cinco de Mayo party!


  • 9 oz Margarita mix
  • 3 oz tequila
  • 3/4 oz Grand Marnier (or favorite orange liqueur)
  • 1 (18.25 oz) box white cake mix (No-pudding mix works best)
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp lime zest
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
  • pinch of salt
  • 2-3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • green food coloring, if desired
  • lime wedges/slices for garnish, if desired


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. Whisk together margarita mix, tequila, and Grand Marnier in a small bowl. You will use 1 1/4 cup of this in the cupcake mix. Pour the remainder over ice and enjoy the mini-rita while you’re baking πŸ™‚
  3. Mix the cake mix, egg whites, vegetable oil, lime zest and the reserved margarita mix. Blend on low for about 30 seconds and then increase speed to medium and blend for two additional minutes (follow the directions on your box mix if they vary greatly). Batter might be slightly lumpy.
  4. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full, baking for 20-25 min, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  5. Let cupcakes cool for about 10 minutes in the pans, and then remove and cool completely.
  6. Beat butter in a large bowl until fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add ~5 cups powdered sugar, salt, lime juice, and lime zest. Mix until thick and creamy.
  7. Add more powdered sugar if necessary to get a nice spreadable/pipeable frosting.
  8. Add a bit of green food coloring or gel paste, if desired.
  9. Frost cupcakes with a spatula or piping bag fitted with a tip. Garnish with lime slices, if desired.


Yields: 24 cupcakes

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride and Wilton

Estimated time: 45 minutes

40 comments… add one
  • soumya

    hey ,
    You have got a nice blog going on dear.Wonderful recipes which are even simple.Thanks for passing by my blog

  • OK. That is so cool. The cupcake looks like it is floating in mid-air. Thanks for stopping by my blog; now I’ve found yours.

  • Those are really cute! I should send the recipe to my little sister — when she was in high school she baked dozens of cupcakes, sometimes going through a dozen all by herself in a mere week! (Oh how I wish I had her metabolism!)

  • Those look cute but so grown up thanks to the margarita connection…Yum! I already dig the frosting…Can I have a bowl of it please?!

  • Wow, Shawnda, your blog looks so beautiful!!!

    These cupcakes are so tempting, too. πŸ˜‰

  • I saw Margarita Cupcakes for the first time over at the Baking Sheet blog. I bookmarked them to try then, but now I think I must try this sooner than later! Yours look incredible!

  • Shawnda, These look absolutely fabulous! And…the photos! Can you bring some over here please? πŸ™‚

  • Margarita Cupcakes? I’m all ears. How cool is that?! I had just commented on someone’s post about oyster shooters and tequila shots and now this. I feel a themed dinner coming along…

  • Margarita cupcakes??? That sounds fantastic. Ain’t nothin better than something with tequila in it. Very cool.

  • Soumya – thanks!

    Susan – excited to find your blog, too! Sometimes I curse having a glass table top – this time it worked with the picture πŸ™‚

    TexanNewYorker – I’ll trade your sister a lifetime supply of those for her metabolism.

    **Passing Helen a bowl full of frosting**

    Patricia – Thanks!

    Kristen – That recipe came up in my initial search. I’ll confess, I was a little weirded-out over the word “vegan” in the recipe title. I’ll branch out one day – baby steps πŸ™‚

    Chris – Thanks! You could use a batch of green cupcakes to sugar-fuel all your work over the next couple weeks, eh?

    Rowena – I’ll send you my address to make mailing your invitations easier πŸ™‚

    Cheryl – I agree! I think tequila probably cures most things. At least temporarily πŸ™‚

  • Those are so cute! I want 3.

  • Now this has definitely caught ny attention. Maragitas are one of my favourite drinks!! This is going on my list of things to try!! I’m sure it made for a great bridal shower. Thanks!

  • These are great looking cupcakes. I can see them in my future.
    Do they have a strong margarita taste? Do you think they would be ok to take to work?? I am thinking a St. Patty’s day treat would be nice.

  • Brilynn – Thank you!

    JenJen – Definitely give ’em a try!

    Heather – They did not have an intense boozy taste or smell after cooking. I *could* smell the tequila in the batter but the 3 shots are spread out across approximately 18 cupcakes (more if I would have stopped tasting it). I personally don’t think there would be a problem in bringing ’em to the office!

  • I love your food snob section! Also, these cupcakes look terrific.

  • Anna

    I love your margarita cupcakes! Everyone loved them so much the first 2 times I made them, I’m making them by request this evening.
    Truly wonderful!
    Thank you!!!

  • I tried this recipe this weekend and they turned out amazing!!! I found your site while I was looking around for a pink lemonade cupcake recipe and then couldn’t resist the margarita version once I saw it! I love your site!

  • Wow, what a cool recipe. These sound so tasty and fun as well. Can’t wait to try this out.

  • littlebitcrzy

    Making these for my daughter’s 21st birthday. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanx for the recipe. Looked everywhere for one

  • Cristy

    These are DELICIOUS!! Instead of using 3 tb of lime juice, I squeezed a fresh lime in and added the remainder of the margarita mixture.

    I made them last night for a Taco Night party and they were a hit!

  • Debbie

    Thanks for another great recipe. I have these at home, just waiting to be frosted! (Oh, and don’t hate me… but you have a typo in step 4.) –signed, an editor

    • @Debbie, Darn, what is that 3 this week? Can I hire you to look at all my older stuff πŸ™‚ Thanks for letting me know, it gave me the excuse to fix the formatting and a couple of clunky steps.

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